Choux au Craquelin Recipe. Have you ever seen those cream puffs with the crackly tops and wondered what it was? It's a topping called craquelin, and is kind of like a crinkly thin cookie. Don't let the weird name deter you though, it is a blend of 3 ingredients you probably have around the house and comes together quickly. Let me show you how!
Components Of The Choux au Craquelin Recipe
- Craquelin Topping- This is a blend of brown sugar, butter, and flour. That is it!
- Cream Puffs- I use a pretty standard cream puff recipe here.
- Fillings- I was looking for a lighter Choux au craquelin, so I went with lemon curd and fresh raspberries. So simple! You can fill it with whatever you like though- mousse, pastry cream, fruit puree, and many other options.
Why The Craquelin Topping?
This is a fun twist on classic cream puff if you are looking for ways to dress up a favorite recipe. It is very easy to make as well. The actual translation of craquelin is a cracker, but in this case, it is a sweet and crunchy cookie topping.
How To Make The Craquelin Topping
This simple recipe involves only three ingredients. Softened butter, brown sugar, and flour are all it takes to make this delicious cookie topping. You can use granulated if you want, but brown sugar gives the color, texture, and flavor you are looking for. I used dark brown sugar and loved the way they turned out.
- Blend butter and brown sugar together. I used a hand mixer, but you could use a spatula if you prefer, which would be quite the arm workout. Blend this for 1 minute
- Add in flour. I recommend all-purpose for this recipe. Usually, I use a blend of whole wheat and refined flours, but I couldn't get the whole wheat to come together quite right so this one is all refined. Once this is added blend until it comes together, which is about 30 seconds to a minute.
- Next, place the craquelin topping on a piece of parchment paper, and another sheet on top. Then, with a rolling pin, roll it until it is about 1-5 mm thick. You will want it fairly thin. Peel off the top layer and put in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Once that layer has been chilled until it is sufficiently stiff, cut it with a biscuit cutter so it is in round circles. mine were 1.5-inch circles.
- Move back to the freezer until the choux dough is ready.
Don't Overcomplicate Things
I have seen a lot of recipes that complicate the steps to make pate a choux dough, but I prefer to take an easier approach.
Start by adding water, milk, butter, salt, and sugar to a saucepan and heating on medium heat. Add in your flour. Continue cooking for several minutes. Remove from heat and move the dough to a bowl. Cool slightly and start adding your eggs, one at a time. Mix well with each addition. You want to fully incorporate each egg before you put the next one in. On the last egg make sure it is mixed well. Then, fill it into a piping or Ziploc bag and pipe it onto the baking sheet. Make sure to give these several inches between each one because they will spread. Pull crauquelin discs out of the freezer and place them on top. Bake for the time shown in the recipe below. Cool and fill.
Filling The Choux au Craquelin
Make sure the choux is cooled before you start filling. I chose a lemon curd and raspberry stabilized whipped cream. Both are pretty simple to make and instructions are below. I made lemon curd from this lemon curd recipe which is one of the most popular on my site. There wasn't time to test my own recipe, and I have used this one before and love it. The stabilized whipped cream is made by blooming gelatin, then mixing it with your sweetened heavy cream and freeze-dried raspberries. Once it's cooled, cut off the top half and fill with about 2 tablespoons of lemon curd, then pipe in your whipped cream. Then sprinkle with more crushed freeze-dried raspberries. One thing I love about the stabilized whipped cream is it holds its shape well and is so pretty to pipe.
Serving The Choux au Craquelin
It is best to serve these fairly soon after making them, as the choux will get soggy with the lemon curd. You can place them in a fridge after you make them, just know they are best eaten within 12 hours or so. Although, my boys still enjoy these even 2 days later.
So, I guess it really depends on how picky you are. This recipe is a fun twist on a classic cream puff, your friends and family will be impressed by your French baking skills and are sure to come back for more!
If desserts are your thing, let me make a few suggestions- How about these fudgy and delicious brownies? They are so good! I recently published these Raspberry Shortbread Bites and they have been hot on the blog! For good reason, they are awesome! This Chocolate Lover's Baked Alaska is also really good!! Another good dessert is these Dark Chocolate Rye Cookies. Yum...
Choux au Craquelin
- 2- baking sheets, piping baker, 1.5 inch biscuit cutter.
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup softened butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
Pate a choux (cream puff)
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup water
- 6 ounces butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
Stabilized Raspberry Cream
- 2 teaspoons gelatin
- 3 tablespoon water
- 2 cups heavy cream Make sure it stays good and chilled until you are ready to use it.
- 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ⅓ cup crushed freeze-dried raspberries plus more for sprinkling on finished puffs
- 1 Recipe lemon curd
- Blend the butter and brown sugar. Add in flour and mix until blended. Place the craquelin on a piece of parchment. Place another piece of parchment on top. Roll the craquelin between teh 2 layers until it is pretty thin, mybe a rectanglish shape, about 8inchesx12 inches. Slide it onto a sheet pan and place in the freezer. Once it has frozen for about 10 minutes, remove and pull back the top parchment. Cut the craquelin into 1.5 inch circle. Move it back to the freezer and leave it until the cream puffs are ready.
Pate a choux
- Heat oven to 400 degrees while you are making the dough.Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Add water, milk, butter, salt, and sugar in a medium sized pan and heat until is just under a bowl and the butter is melted. Remove from heat and stir in the flour. Once it is mixed in, return to a medium heat and stir continuously for about 3-4 minutes. Pull from heat and add it to your stand mixer bowl or a bowl for mixing in. Let it cool for about 5 minutes. Then with the mixer turned on (stand or hand), add one egg at a time. Make sure and mix completely between each addition. Once you have added in the last egg, and it is mixed well, it is time to pipe. On the baking sheet, with about 3 inches between each one, pipe your cream puffs. You can see in the photos about what they should look like. Pipe them about 1.5 inches wide and about 1.5-2 inches tall. Then remove your craquelin topping from freezer and add one to top of each cream puff. When they are finished, move to the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and bake another 20 minutes. When they have finished baking, remove from the oven and allow them to cool for filling.
Stabilized Raspberry Whipping Cream
- Place the water in a small-ish, microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and allow to sit about 2-3 minutes. Place in the microwave for about 5-10 seconds. You want to heat the gelatin, but not get it too hot. You just want to dissolve the gelatin slightly, but not get it too warm.Add the chilled heavy cream to a medium-sized bowl and beat on high for about 1 minute. I like to use a hand or stand mixer, but this can also be done by hand for a good arm workout. Then add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and freeze-dried raspberries. Blend again on high until it forms soft peaks. At the same time your beating it, pour in the gelatin. Continue mixing on high until it forms stiff peaks. Remember to not overmix it, it will curdle if you do.
Putting it all together
- Carefully cut each choux in half. If you are using it, spoon about 1-2 tablespoons lemon curd in the bottom of the choux. The pipe in the stabilized cream.Continue this process until you have filled all the puffs. They are delicious eaten immediately, and are best this way.You can also store them in the fridge and they are good up to 24 hours. Now, sit back enjoy. You deserve it!